Internationally acclaimed artist and urban planner Theaster Gates will keynote the One State Together in the Arts conference.
Through initiatives like the Dorchester Projects, Rebuild Foundation, and Arts and Public Life initiative at the University of Chicago, Theaster is putting theory into practice and transforming the well-being of individuals and communities through the arts.
Drawing on an expanded artistic practice that includes space development, object making, performance, and critical engagement with many publics, Theaster’s keynote will explore from the inside out what happens when arts and community engage.
Artists are an important part of how the world makes sense. And when the world doesn’t make sense, the world looks to the arts to help remind us what it means to be human. Artists have the capacity to not only redefine the small spaces that we inhabit, but we have the capacity to help redefine the world.
In 2012, Theaster Gates was awarded the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, the Wall Street Journal’s Arts Innovator of the Year, a Creative Time Global Residency Fellowship, and became a United States Artists Kippy Fellow. He has also received awards and grants from Creative Capital, the Joyce Foundation, Graham Foundation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Artadia.
Recent exhibition and performance venues include the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Locust Projects, Miami, FL; the Seattle Art Museum; Art Basel, Switzerland; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Milwaukee Art Museum; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; the Armory Show and the Whitney Biennial in New York. Theaster’s upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago extends the work he conceived for dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, Germany. He is represented by Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago and White Cube in London.